Archive for December, 2015

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So I came across this series, or maybe Susan did. I don’t know. I can’t find any posts we’ve made about it in the past, so here goes.

It’s the Falling Stars series, written by Sadie Grubor. There’s now two books and an in-between, and it’s about two bands, Falling Star and Hush, and how members of the two bands forge a relationship. The in-between novella can’t be read without reading the first, apparently.

The second novel is Hidden in the Stars, and it’s about a second member of The Forgotten.

This has a lot of potential to be a long series, if it’s good and if readers can find it. Two bands, connected by Christopher and Mia, means a lot of members who need to find love — because of course this is a romance series.

And there’s also the idea of a book about how Christopher and Mia coexist in a pretty tight-knit community if they don’t make it. Think Rob Zombie and Sean Yseult, or the members of Fleetwood Mac or … who else is famous for inter-band romances? Yeah, I know this isn’t an inter-band romance so maybe we should be talking about Gwen and Gavin and Blake and Miranda. Maybe that’s the better comparison.

Either way, it’s got potential, and that makes me want to read it.

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Looking to add that extra layer of authenticity to your Rock Fiction?

This article from the Wall Street Journal talks all about today’s road crew, how the job has morphed, some of the hazards, and a lot of the pay. It’s pretty broad and brief, and it reads at the end like it was truncated for space in the print edition, but it’s worth a read and some pondering. Be sure to study the pictures, too.

It’s really nothing more than a point to begin learning from, but it’s a good one.

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Even though Susan’s Jewish and hates Christmas day (despite the Chinese food, which she says she doesn’t eat on Christmas Day anymore, which makes no sense to me. Isn’t that one of the points of being Jewish?), we wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas today.

No Rock Fiction to covet today, even though it’s Friday. Instead, tell us what Rock Fiction Santa brought for you! What are you looking forward to reading between now and New Year’s?

(and yes, Susan said no to Chinese food on New Year’s, too. What’s wrong with her?)

THE GUITARIST by Lindy S. Hudis

Review by Cherry Cox

The Guitarist is a short story about ‘guitar god’ Diego Ortega, the lead guitarist in a 1980s hard rock band called Medieval Steel. (The story is set in the 80s but we only know it’s the 80s because the blurb tells us that. There is nothing in the story itself that actually frames the time period for us.)

Medieval Steel are on tour but Diego is unhappy. He has a love/hate relationship with touring and grows weary of the endless parade of brazen (and annoying) groupies who just want to get into his pants.

When the band rolls into a small unnamed town, Diego goes for a walk and spots a vintage guitar in the window of an antiquated music a store. Despite the shop owner’s warning that the instrument is cursed, Diego buys it.

Diego becomes increasingly obsessed with the guitar, and with a mysterious woman who comes into his room every night to ‘make love’ to him.

Just in case you’re intrigued by this book, I won’t go into details about the plot other than to say it’s got an unhappy guitarist, a cursed guitar that attacks people it perceives to be a threat, and a mysterious woman (Diego’s soul mate) who appears out of nowhere and becomes increasingly possessed by a wicked/evil force.

This is the kind of story that’s right up my alley; guitar gods and a hint of the paranormal, everything I love rolled into one intriguing tale. Unfortunately, and I’m going to be brutally honest here, the story didn’t turn out to be anywhere near as great as I had hoped. In fact, I was actually confused as there are things in the plot that just don’t add up. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I missed something, or maybe it’s just that the story is too clever for me to understand. Whatever the case, I didn’t get it.

Diego wants to find true love but the guitar is stopping him from experiencing true love with the mystery woman/soul mate. Unfortunately, it just seems a little too convenient and coincidental that the cursed guitar comes into Diego’s life at the very same time as his mystery woman/soul mate…

Personally, I think one of the key ingredients in a successful story is great characters. I’m not saying we have to like every character that appears in every book, we don’t. But as readers we do have to have some understanding of the reasons why characters behave the way they behave, and why they do the things that they do. I didn’t get this with Diego. I didn’t understand him, which meant I couldn’t empathize with him, which ultimately made me not really care about him.

I think the main reason for this this that the writer gives us no hint as to Diego’s backstory. This story is all about the plot, not about characterization. It’s about the ‘what’, not about the ‘why’. Even in a short story, I personally like to know about the ‘why’.

Finally, a quick word about tone and style. The writer’s simplistic style is certainly the best choice for this story as is makes for a quick and easy read. Logically, it should also make for a satisfying read; however, there’s something about the style that’s a little too clinical for me, a little too perfunctory. Consequently, I didn’t get swept up in the story. I didn’t lose myself in the time, the place, or the characters, which is disappointing because like I said, this book had a bunch of elements that I love in a good read.

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Here’s the second in a romantic suspense series (yay for adding the suspense to our romance!) and the only one of the four that’s Rock Fiction. You guys know how leery I get when a rocker drops into a series. Does the chick need to be a rocker?

Only one way to find out.

So here’s the storyline:

SHE MAY BE HIS WORST ENEMY…
For deadly secret agent Peter Macmillan, language is a weapon—one he uses to hunt criminals, destroy plots, and charm enemies. Seducing information out of a beautiful singer in Bangkok hotel should be easy…except this particular singer has the power to destroy his cool façade, and with it, his last defense against a dark past.

HE MAY BE HER ONLY HOPE…
He tricked her. He helped himself to her body and her secrets. He has enemies everywhere. Laney Lancaster should hate Peter, but when she discovers him shirtless, sweaty, and chained up in the hotel’s dungeon, all she can think about is freeing him. Because she knows what it’s like to be trapped and alone. And she could use a dangerous friend.

They may be wrong for each other, but the instant they join forces, Laney and Peter are plunged into an odyssey of hot sex and dark danger. To survive, they must trust each other with their lives—and their hearts.

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Now, I’ve been kinda disappointed by the plotlines of the first two Rock Fiction books Nalini has written. (Rock Courtship here and Rock Addiction here.) But she sells something like billions and trillions of books and people love her and she’s supposed to be a fabulous writer, so maybe she can pull it off. After all, Rock Fiction is about the execution more than the idea.

So what’s this next one about?

Kit Devigny could have loved rock guitarist Noah St. John. Their friendship burned with the promise of intense passion and searing tenderness…until the night Noah deliberately shattered her heart.

Noah knows he destroyed something precious the night he chose to betray Kit, but he’d rather she hate him than learn his darkest secret. All he has left is his music. It’s his saving grace, but it doesn’t silence the voices that keep him up at night. Chasing oblivion through endless one-night-stands, he earns a few hours’ sleep and his bad boy reputation.

When a media error sees Noah and Kit dubbed the new “it” couple, Kit discovers her chance at the role of a lifetime hinges on riding the media wave. Wanting—needing—to give Kit this, even if he can’t give her everything, Noah agrees to play the adoring boyfriend. Only the illusion is suddenly too real, too painful, too beautiful…and it may be too late for the redemption of Noah St. John.

Depending on the secret, we finally have a plot worthy of the reputation of Nalini! I was hoping that if we waited long enough, it would show up and it looks like it might have.

THIS is the one I want to read first, even though it’s the third in a series.

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Cecilia Tan might need to take home the award for Most Rock Fiction Ever Written (sorry, Susan. But… she’s currently writing and you’re not). She’s got a new one!

Ricki Hamilton and her sister have just inherited a vast estate in the Hollywood hills. Unfortunately, with that legacy comes the most exclusive club in Hollywood history, a secret BDSM establishment where only the rich and the naughty come to play. Ricki wants nothing to do with this business, and is trying to find ways to get out of having to run it . . . until she meets Axel―a sexy enigmatic rock star who makes her want to submit to needs she didn’t know she had.

This is a true coveting post ’cause it won’t be out until January 2016, but …

Except it makes me wonder if, like too many Rock Fiction books we run into, the rocker dude is a rocker who could be any other career. Insert Rocker Here type of thing, and as we all know, that doesn’t make for Rock Fiction. It makes for a book with a rocker who could be anyone.

But this is Cecilia Tan we’re talking about, and the lady knows her stuff. That alone gives me confidence.

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With a title like Memphis Black: the Rockers of Steel, would you think that Memphis Black is the name of the band, or is it just me?

But I suspect it’s not just me. Memphis Black would make a fantastic band name.

Always a risk when you come up with a killer band name. Just sayin’…

Anyway, the Memphis Black of the title seems to be a character, not the band. Lookit:

From bedroom performances to center stage, Memphis Black’s dreams have come true.

Together with his band mates—Finn, River, and Billy B—he takes some time for fun in the sun in Miami while gathering inspiration to finish their first full-length album. Some down time before hitting the road to tour the country, spreading their kind of rock like an STD.

Tallia Priest, a preacher’s daughter grew up next door to Madison Black, her polar opposite and very best friend. Tallia has harbored a crush on Madison’s older brother Memphis for a lifetime.

A boy like him would never notice a girl like her, yet he did … once.

After a tough freshman year of college, Madison invites Tallia to join her in Miami for a much needed break. Madison fails to mention they will be staying with ‘Steel Total Destruction.’

When Tallia arrives, there is no way for a stunned Memphis to miss the transformation of the once awkward, innocent girl next door.

Forbidden desires must be hidden, lines cannot be blurred, and no one can ever know.

Will the heat in Miami tempt them even further? Will buried secrets destroy lives? Can a broken heart ever be mended?

It’s all fun and games until someone gets rocked.

So I’m confused. Memphis and Madison. Who is Madison? Why does Madison matter? Are they easier to keep straight than they are right here?

How can a band be center stage if they haven’t recorded their first full-length album? How can they afford to take time in the sun? Who is ‘Steel Total Destruction’ (and why the quotes?)

But this has a good vibe to it, a freshness in the voice. That makes me want to read it, right there.

Bring it.

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Well, right off the bat, this one’s different. See how?

It’s written by a man. Why is it that men don’t write romance more? They have no issues writing romantic songs.

So here’s what we’re drooling over today:

True love never ends … or does it?

Finally, Cody has a shot at superstardom.

But for this aspiring rock star, going for his dream means leaving Emma, the love of his life behind forever.

Will true love be enough to sustain them?

~~~

He’s a broke aspiring rock star scarred by his past.

She’s a feisty rich girl hiding a secret.

Opposites in every way.

But true love has a way of finding you.

A way of healing the broken hearted.

A way of giving hope to those who’ve given up on love.

So… what is it with vague back cover copy? Am I reading this right that it’s a triangle of sorts? He’s got to choose between his girls?

Works for me.

Bring it.

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Let’s get right to it ’cause I got no intro today. Just not an intro kind of day, I suppose.

Long before he was a successful songwriter and black-belt badass, Blue was a survivor of an ultimatum that cost him everything.

It was supposed to bring a new beginning, a new life. Instead, it left him near death with nothing to rely on but the kindness of a stranger. Hostile and headstrong, Blue needs a calmer influence to balance his fury. Someone to save him from himself.

Brady’s life was quiet and orderly until fate sent him a blue-eyed hurricane. Bursts of temper and flashes of despair batter his efforts to calm the storm in a man he doubts he can tame. One drowning in the wreckage of his past.

With a head full of lies and a body full of scars, Blue must work to rebuild his life with the help of a man determined to prove sometimes trust is worth the risk.

Blue features one of the most popular characters from the Saving Liam saga! Destined for greatness, he reveals the past that made him the scarred bad boy readers love.

I’m not sure I have anything here, either. What the heck is this book about? He wants a calmer influence but gets a hurricane. I get that we don’t always get what we want, or even know what we need. I am a living example of that.

But I’d like to know some concrete examples.